BREAKING: Warner Bros, which late last year put the brakes on David Dobkin’s Arthur & Lancelot, is once again in active talks to make the movie. I’m hearing that Colin Farrell is in the center of talks that aim to revive the project. The killer role in the movie is Lancelot, I’m told, and that’s the one that Farrell is eye-ing. I’ve also heard that Gary Oldman, who was offered the role of Merlin but didn’t take it, is likely to be re-approached. They haven’t figured out who’s pulling the sword from the stone and are looking for an Arthur.
You might recall that the studio, which paid $2 million to acquire Dobkin’s script last summer, wouldn’t make the movie because its $130 million budget was $20 million more than Warner Bros was willing to spend. Under terms of the deal, Dobkin got to shop his project around to other studios but nothing happened.
Where Farrell fits into the picture isn’t exactly clear. Warner Bros, which dated the film for a March 15, 2013 release, had cast Game of Thrones’ Kit Harington to play Arthur and The Killing‘s Joel Kinnaman to play Lancelot. Even though Kinnaman was subsequently cast in the title character of MGM’s Robocop remake and Harington returns as a major character in the second season of the HBO series, the studio was being cautious about Dobkin’s contemporary style re-imagining of the Sword And The Stone with two unproven feature stars. After the year’s wild box office swings–witness last weekend’s paltry performance of John Carter, budgets are being scrutinized everywhere. But Warner Bros has been keen to tell the story of Arthur, Lancelot and the Knights of the Roundtable. Other projects previously considered by WB was a remake of the 1981 John Boorman pic Excalibur that had Bryan Singer attached; there was a version that Sherlock Holmes helmer Guy Ritchie was working on with Trainspotting scribe John Hodge, and there is also a Harry Potter-style take being produced by Donald DeLine that isn’t really impacted by any of this.
Further complicating matters is who’ll make Dobkin’s deal? He is currently repped by CAA, but is a client off Dan Aloni, who’s at WME. Dobkin’s definitely in play and has met with WME, but he hasn’t left the CAA fold just yet.
Farrell, who just played the Arnold Schwarzenegger role in the remake of Total Recall, is repped by CAA.